This Tiny Crypto Startup Has Lessons for Libra's 'Unbanked' Dreams

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If Facebook's Libra project truly aims to serve the globe's 1.7 billion unbanked, the Hong Kong-based Bitspark might offer some insights.

BitShares had some of the benefits of being a public ecosystem, like bitcoin, yet also wasn't too big to work on scaling solutions with Bitspark when the startup migrated to that technology on the back-end.

"Becoming a Bitspark cash point has opened up the opportunity for a new revenue stream as well as facilitating cross-selling with Bitspark's members and the crypto community in general. While coming in to use the cash point, we encourage customers to stay and enjoy a burrito or a margarita."

Moss, who says he doesn't own any crypto and wasn't involved with the industry prior, added an important point about Bitspark's focus on cash.

Bitspark uses the token for a traditional points-based rewards program, which allows the user to cash out those ZEPH tokens for bitcoin or use them for transaction fees.

There are some unbanked users able to use Bitspark services, but they are not the profit driver this startup relies on.

"I think Bitspark is unique in the sense they are using a DEX and a stablecoin backed by BitShares' collateral system as the gateway to offer their crypto remittance service," Kazuhisa said.

To the contrary, Bitspark switched to the BitShares blockchain and found a rare crypto community with both a power vacuum and a working exchange with relatively reliable liquidity.

"The bottlenecks aren't blockchain scalability, the real bottleneck is between the real world and the virtual world," said a Bitspark user who works in the crypto sector.

The power company Okra Solar has used Bitspark to settle cash transactions on the blockchain in the rural Philippines, Ryan said, by using the Bitspark mobile app.